Model, muse, businesswoman… we’re all curious about what Kate Moss does next. Sarah Halliwell has an exclusive audience with the model businesswoman in Dublin.
It’s a bright morning in late February and there’s a frisson in the beauty hall of Brown Thomas. Kate Moss is in Dublin for the launch of her Cosmoss wellbeing brand. When Moss enters, to a soundtrack of The Rolling Stones and Nick Drake, wearing slinky, copper-coloured vintage, it’s as if an invisible spotlight follows her. Her familiarity is disorientating – on some level it’s like meeting an old friend.
Few people are so outwardly familiar – Moss’s face has been under constant scrutiny since she was first discovered, on a flight from JFK, aged 15. Or so enduringly intriguing: we remain fascinated by her innate style, glittering partying and (fiercely loyal) friendships with Vivienne Westwood and Marianne Faithfull to Lucian Freud (a relationship inspiring a forthcoming movie). While Moss has run her own Kate Moss model agency since 2016, Cosmoss feels a more personal venture, reflecting calmer new habits as she turns 50 next year – it’s about preferring to be “in control”.
It’s not the first time Kate’s been in Dublin – “I’ve often come to Dublin for gigs” – and she has good memories of Ireland: “Oh yes! I went to Galway when I was 15, and I just remember it being so magical. And I spent some time at Ronnie Wood’s house in Co Kildare – that was fun! And Shane McGowan is a good friend of mine so I hang out with him and Victoria – I usually see them when I come over.” The ice broken, we settled in for a good chat …
Kate Moss and Sarah Halliwell in Brown Thomas, Dublin.
ON HER LOCKDOWN PROJECT, COSMOSS Cosmoss features fruit teabags (€24) (the Dusk tea is alarmingly blue) to cream cleanser, moisturiser and Sacred Mist eau de parfum (€140). There’s more on the horizon; expect further scents, bath oils and balms, all ticking the self-care box. She’s worked with a team from Warsaw Labs, a “boutique brand incubator”. “Pawel [Walicki] had heard I was doing a lot of yoga and self-care, so we talked and we met. And then lockdown happened and so we had all that time to do it. Everyone would come to my house in the country and we’d go round the garden for inspiration, and choose glass colours and bottle shapes. With the teas, we had all the leaves and samples and we’d mix them up and try different ones. And then,” she laughs, with her contagious cackle, “I’d have to go for a quick meditation because it was all so overwhelming – all those decisions!”
“I’m really trying to concentrate on being focused on what I’m doing, and not doing too many things at the same time … that’s what’s inspiring me. Just being in the moment …”
ON GETTING GROUNDED In her Desert Island Discs interview, Moss talked about a “lack of care” in her modelling days; she has certainly needed great instincts to navigate an often toxic environment. As she tells me: “In this business, you have to be able to take care of yourself – well, I have to. When you’re young, you can kind of deal with it all, you just go through it – but I’m just more grounded now.” She finds mindfulness and meditation a “different kind of fun”.
ON MAKE-UP “I leave that to the professionals. I wear a lip liner and use an eyelash curler, but I’m not really a big make-up person. My thing when I was young was literally one black eyeliner in the bottom of a handbag, and you’d use it right down to the stub. That was all I had. And that was my look – for years! Obviously when you get a little bit older, you feel you need a little bit of cover-up, or bronzer – Charlotte Tilbury does the best – but I don’t like wearing too much. Unless I’m wearing a red lip, which is always good. Love a red lip!”
ON RITUALS “My attitude towards beauty and looks hasn’t really changed over the years. I’ve always liked to keep things natural, and I’ve always loved rituals – lighting candles, running a bath. In the morning, I like to burn incense or frankincense. For me, meditation is about having that morning moment when you’re really calm – I find that it really sets you up for the day.” Nights out and relentless catwalk schedules have been traded for meditation and wild swimming – “I was in the river at the weekend”. In fact, Moss nearly piles her team off right then for an Irish Sea swim (her high-fashion black-clad team do not look keen). “I’d love to do it here! I bet I’m really trying to concentrate on being focused on what I’m doing, and not doing too many things at the same time … that’s what’s inspiring me. Just being in the moment … it’s amazing – let’s all go to the beach and do some wild swimming! Everyone in! Come on!”
ON HER BIGGEST PASSION “I’m so excited for the spring. I was just there in the country [Moss has a country house in the Cotswolds] and all the snowdrops are out and the crocuses – I just can’t wait for the daffodils as well. Because I’ve got a cutting garden as well. It’s just my favourite thing to do. My mum is teaching me, and I’m now really into potting!” Ever the stylist, it’s the textures and colours that appeal to Moss, and a sense of romance; her garden, she enthuses, is full of old English country roses that smell incredible: “I love all the tendrils when they come down – all the pastels and pale violets and pinks.” She’s even bought a copper still: “This year I’m going to use it to make my own rose essence and take it to Grasse to get copied. That’s my next thing to do – because there’s nothing like that smell of roses.” Her favourite perfumes have a “musky powdery rosy smell”.
ON SCENT Her Sacred Mist scent, in an elegant green bottle, smells herby and fresh, with notes of orange flower, jasmine and oak moss. “The oak moss is the grounding note in the scent; the tonka bean is magic, and there’s also geranium and bergamot in there to uplift.” It’s decidedly unisex (as is the whole range); “I love it because my boyfriend – all my boyfriends – were the ones actually begging me for some to wear, even more than the girls.” There will soon be a 30ml version of Sacred Mist for travel, “as the original bottle is quite heavy – I always need a little one in my bag for the day.”
ON BEAUTY TIPS FROM HER DAUGHTER “She knows all the stuff from TikTok – so I can’t go without the Laneige lip balm now, she turned me on to that. She also loves sheet masks, and then does gua sha after. I love that: face massage is amazing because it’s releasing all the tension that makes you look older – you want to be relaxed!”
ON SELF-CARE “At the moment, I’m really trying to concentrate on being focussed on what I’m doing, and not doing too many things at the same time. It’s slowing things down to a pace that’s more manageable … that’s what’s inspiring me. Just being in the moment, really, and being present.” As I leave, she is musing on the idea of getting a small Cosmoss tattoo. Which sums it up, in a way. Self-care, yes, but always with some rock n roll.